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Belize Powerlifting Association sends 8 athletes to Panama to compete in the 19th Annual North American Regional Powerlifting Championship

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2022. 12:45 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Audrey Bernadette Matura

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Eight powerlifting athletes are now in Panama City, Panama, to compete in the 19th Annual North American Regional Powerlifting Championship being held August 15-20.

The eight traveled yesterday with high expectations.

“Your #teambelize has been working and training arduously as they put their best foot forward. They compete among other athletes from the USA, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America. Team Belize comprises 8 athletes; 4 women and 4 men,” said the Belize Powerlifting Association (BPA).

The eight athletes are Alida Sharp (32 kg), Edith Ruiz (57 kg), Jacqueline Alas (63 kg), Nerry Sho (76 kg), Leo Matura (74 kg), Khalid Usher (93 kg), William Murillo (105 kg), and Robert Williams (120 kg).

After Kaylon Cadle Godoy placed eighth in the 120kg weight class at the World Open Classic Powerlifting Champions 2022 held in South Africa, the BPA is going 19th Annual North American Regional Powerlifting Championship. The eight athletes will represent in the junior, open, and masters categories.

Before they left, a social media live stream by Audrey Matura, whose son Leo is a member of the team, brought attention to the Belize Powerlifting Association not getting much help, particularly from the Ministry of Sports.

Matura has been extremely vocal in her advocacy on behalf of the Belize Powerlifting Association and got some financial help through her live streams during which she mentioned the team didn’t even have a Belize uniform.

National Sports Council (NSC) Director Ian Cal said the NSC was not aware the Powerlifting team was going to represent the country. He said that the Powerlifting Association is not registered with the Sports Council plus they didn’t request any assistance from the Sports Council. Cal said he reached out to the PLA president Khalid Usher who told him they had not sought the NSC’s help because the association had not received any support from the National Sports Council in the past. Cal admitted that upon a check of the books at the NSC, which he took over last year, the NSC has not been very supportive of sports associations. However, he said he’s working on changing that but maintained that associations should be registered with the NSC to be officially recognized and to benefit from whatever the NSC can provide. He also said that the associations should provide the NSC with a calendar of events.

Cal said that despite the way things happened, the NSC still made a contribution. Matura confirmed the NSC contributed $1,500.00.

Early on Saturday, the Belize Powerlifting Association said the team had arrived safely in Panama.

“#teambelize has arrived safely in Panama. As they settle in and get ready to start with their first competition on Monday, we take time out to give a big shout-out to all our sponsors and supporters who have made this possible. Thank you for the faith you have shown in us,” said the BPA.

They posted a list of their sponsors:

1. Ian Anderson Caves Branch

2. Hummingbird Furnishings

3. Banana Bank Lodge

4. Upside Down Tours

5. Kaylon Godoy

6. Belize Tourism Board

7. Builders Hardware

8. Audrey Matura

9. National Sports Council

10. Development Finance Corporation

11. Powerhouse Fitness

12. Brain Freeze Margaritas

13. Queens Grab and Go

14. Celebrity Restaurant

15. Cellular World

16. Ms. Diana Shaw

17. Ms. Miriam Shields

18. Kinetic Health & Fitness

19. Inside Out Studios

20. Kind-hearted individuals who requested to remain anonymous

21….and YOU the Belizean public for following us and journeying along

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You all have made this possible and we hope to make you all proud!


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